CFP: Orange is the New Black and New Perspectives on the Women in Prison Genre (5 June 2015; deadline 16 January 2015)

Orange is the New Black and New Perspectives on the Women in Prison Genre

Friday 5 June 2015

Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland


Keynote Speaker: Professor Diane Negra (University College Dublin)

We would like to invite proposals for papers for a one-day conference framed around discussions of the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black (2013-). The series has received a great deal of critical media attention, particularly surrounding its representation of sexualities and women of colour. The series is the most recent in a sequence of TV programmes and feature films exploring women’s incarceration in a popular format. Considered as part of the ‘women in prison’ genre, the show upholds certain stereotypes while simultaneously using the genre framework to explore new territory. This conference aims to open up scholarly debates surrounding OITNB and to further contextualise it alongside other representations of women in prison from a multidisciplinary range of perspectives. We also welcome contributions from creative practitioners on their engagement with the ‘women in prison’ genre.

Contributors are invited to address OITNB in relation to issues around the representation of women’s experience with imprisonment in any geographical location, in both historical and contemporary contexts. Some of the questions this conference wishes to address are: what defines the ‘women in prison’ genre and how has it changed historically? What effects does it have on specific groups of (incarcerated) women and public audiences? How do new modes of circulation impact on audience reception of the ‘women in prison’ genre?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:


  • OITNB and genre
  • OITNB and questions of adaptation
  • Comparative analyses with other ‘women in prison’ series or feature films
  • Gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and age in OITNB
  • OITNB and questions of ‘the gaze’
  • OITNB in relation to ‘real world’ criminal justice settings


300 word abstracts should be sent to: by midnight on 16 January 2015.


For further inquiries please contact the conference organisers:

Dr Sarah Artt ( and Dr Anne Schwan (


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